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Business

Flora Sassoon

Born in Bombay into the legendary Sassoon dynasty, Flora (Farha) Sassoon lived a colorful life in India and then in England as a businesswoman, philanthropist, famed hostess and Jewish scholar.

Rachel Salamander

Rachel Salamander is a well-known personality in Munich, where she established a prominent bookshop, the Literaturhandlung, in 1982. This bookshop specializes in Jewish literature and has one of the largest collections of books in Germany about Judaism.

Helena Rubinstein

My Life for Beauty, Helena Rubinstein’s autobiography, was published in 1966, a year after her death. In the introduction, her son Roy Titus called his mother’s life and work “so inseparable that a book dealing with one aspect without the other would seem incomplete.” Thus, the first half recounts “My Life,” and the second half, “For Beauty,” includes advice for achieving beautiful skin, hair, nails, and so on.

Rothschild Women

Strangely enough, the Rothschild women enjoyed greater ease than their menfolk. All but a few enjoyed the position they were assigned and obviously took great pride in a Jewish family’s rise to fame and fortune.

Nettie Rosenstein

Fashion designer Nettie Rosenstein was instrumental in the popularization of the “little black dress” in America. She observed the trend in French couture and used the power of the ready-to-wear industry to popularize the look in America.

Sophie Sonia Rosenberg

Sophie Rosenberg’s company came to be Sonia Gowns Inc. in 1935, when she entered into the business with Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt. Though her business venture with the Vanderbilt family was brief, she never left the dress design business, and within a few short years, in 1944, she went into business once again, retaining the name of Sonia Gowns Inc.

Heather Reisman

Possibly the most powerful person in Canada’s book publishing industry at the turn of the twenty-first century and certainly the country’s most prominent Jewish businesswoman, Heather Reisman was born in Montreal and educated as a social worker at McGill University.

Printers

Until the nineteenth century, printing was a cottage industry; adjoining living and printing areas enabled the entire family to join in helping with the multiple tasks involved. Among both Jewish and non-Jewish women it was mainly after the husband died that his widow took over the printing press. Since some of the widows married soon after, their new husbands, often also printers, took over the business. Many widows, however, chose to continue operating the business themselves in order to support their family and sometimes to pass it on to their children.

Poverty: Jewish Women in Medieval Egypt

For lack of sources, it is normally almost impossible to say anything about women and poverty, especially as regards the Middle Ages. However, due to the fortunate preservation of the letters and other documents from everyday life discovered in the Cairo Genizah we are able to sketch a fairly detailed case-study of Jewish women and poverty in medieval Egypt, particularly in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries.

Poland: Early Modern (1500-1795)

With the gender role definition for Jewish women in Poland being subtly and haltingly stretched and broadened as this period progressed, it does seem appropriate to call it the early modern period.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Business." (Viewed on June 18, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/business>.

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